A large number of public links to Google Drive and YouTube will stop working soon.
For the sake of improving security, Google is making a change on how both services do link sharing. Although active users may choose to opt-out of the upcoming switch, files left on inactive or unused Google accounts may simply disappear.
Why? Because shared links will soon be part of Google‘s newer system that focuses on security. Starting July 23, unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 will be changed to ‘Private.’
Newer links on YouTube will become more difficult for anyone to access (and guess) without explicit permission. In addition, the new links require viewers to log in, which will allow access to be tracked and tie it to each user’s profile.
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Instead of being open to everyone, shared private YouTube videos are now limited to a maximum of 50 people only, and it requires a Google account to watch them.
Google Drive links will also be part of the change, as announced in the official Google Workspace blog. Shared links will now have a resource key that determines which accounts will get access to the content. Those who already have access to old files will remain, but new ones will need to log in to request access and view it.
Users who have files that will be affected by the change will receive an email by July 26th, telling them exactly which links will be impacted. In case users don’t want to get the security update, they may opt-out before September 13, 2021. Otherwise, all changes will be applied automatically.